Sunday, December 19, 2021

Are Food Halls a Destination or a Rest Stop?


Food Halls are the darling of legacy food industry publications, new papers, and mall developers looking for readers or for foot traffic.  The question Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® asks is call it a food hall or food court industry buzz will fade and traffic will slip in the focus is not on consumers food and beverage consumption preferences.

Restaurant turn-over in traditional food courts located in malls, airports, and unban-setting have been devesting to many a local start-up brand as the mall traffic slides, airport traffic evolves, or the urban core changes so do the retails that operate in those locations. 

So, the question becomes are food halls a destination location for top line sales and bottom-line profits? We should be asking is the short-term exposure to publicity worth the cost of a ‘high turnover’ within the food court/food hall that has become so inevitable.

So, SAJJ Mediterranean has launched a second SAJJ Kitchen in Palo Alto, CA with partners Local Kitchens, a pioneering micro food hall concept. Located at 369 California Ave, SAJJ Kitchen Palo Alto will be open daily from 11am to midnight, hosting guests for indoor or outdoor dining and fulfilling online orders. Customers will be able to order in-store via kiosks, and online for pickup or delivery through the Local Kitchens website or third-party delivery services. Do you think this is a good fit?

CEO of SAJJ Mediterranean Zaid Ayoub, stated, “We first partnered with Local Kitchens earlier this year with the first SAJJ Kitchen in Cupertino, CA as a way to expand our customer base” … “With the boom of digital ordering and the successful pilot of the Cupertino location, we’re excited to launch our second SAJJ Kitchen location with Local Kitchens in Palo Alto to help meet the needs of SAJJ’s new and existing customers in the area. We’re so impressed with the Local Kitchens team and chefs who will create each meal on-site and continue to wonderfully represent the SAJJ brand.”

We most note that Local Kitchens was founded by former DoorDash colleagues, CEO Jon Goldsmith and COO Andrew Munday, and CTO Jordan Bramble. The entrepreneurs set out to transform the concept of a food hall for the digital age. Local Kitchens’ Palo Alto site features a storefront and a dedicated takeout customer experience with staff from local communities, who have been meticulously trained by restaurant partners to prepare each meal on-site. The micro food hall concept allows customers to mix and match cuisines from different restaurants, like SAJJ Kitchen, in a single order. We ask is that how consumers view the platform?

Jon Goldsmith, CEO of Local Kitchens, stated, “SAJJ's vibrant flavors and customizable dishes have been a very popular choice at our locations - both as standalone menu items, and as a unique component of our guest's combined menu orders," ... "We're beyond excited to include SAJJ Mediterranean in the collection of beloved brands we are bringing to the Palo Alto Community."

If you are focusing in on food hall messaging, your brand might simply be at a rest stop waiting for customers to help you define your brand.

Looking for success clues of your own? Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced food marketing and business development ideations. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities, technology, or a new menu product segment.  Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche visit us on our social media sites by clicking one of the following links: Facebook,  LinkedIn, or Twitter

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